Writing. This project, which has now seen 1,339 days, began as a simple writing meditation. It then turned into a book, and continues to inform all aspects of my life. There are about a million scientific reasons that support beginning a daily practice - I will soon take a pause and write about them here, or provide a video - but beyond all that, it just feels good. Boundaries are good. Structure is good. We know this to be true for children, but as adults, we are still growing too. Not in the same way or at the same speed, but we continue to grow each day. We need the same feeling of safety that children need, we are also still in development. Boundaries create safety. Structure creates safety. When things get chaotic, leaning on these two basic and primitive safety providers is always a good place to start. I love the boundaries of a daily practice. I love the structure, knowing that every single night I will take a few minutes or a few hours to think about my day. I love that I start each day with a curiosity that keeps me open to what I will learn by the end of the day. Whatever else is going on around me, these things are true. And that, right now, feels very safe.
I've taught a class on using THESE THREE THINGS as a daily meditation for writers. And that's what I will focus on here. But hear me when I say, if you think you cannot write, if you are sure you are not a writer, I'm sure you are. Writing was never my chosen method of expression, yet here I am. I write everyday for this project and I write for a handful of magazines each month. Turns out, if you do something every single day, you get better at it. So try this. For a while. If you hate it, good. Use it. Think about why. Dig deep in there. If you love it, great. Think about why. Dig deep in there. Do it every single day. Until you don't. Then do something else.
1. Write three things you learn. Every single day. Digital or analog. For writers I recommend using Airtable. Airtable allows you to search your entries. This is really important. Part of participating in this practice is to provide inspiration for your writing. Your book, articles, poetry, blog posts. Being able to search all of your entries and find that one fact about hawks, or a few sentences you wrote about an article you read that gave you pause, enables you to cut and past, start a new table, and further explore some of the topics and ideas you touch upon each day. I'm working on my second book this way, and many of the ideas have come from being able to search all of my entries. With 1,339, I have a ton of material to pull from!
A word about resistance. There is tremendous value in knowing you do not like something. Resistance is one of the most informative windows into our psyche. When you are working on this project and it feels like a chore, or you find yourself not wanting to write, write about how you do not want to write. The simple sentence, I HATE THIS TODAY, is important. Being able to sit in that displeasure is important. Understanding that you are not inspired is important. Honoring the need to offer nothing is important. If you follow this project closely, you know that there have been many, many days that I did not want to write. Instead of stopping, I gave words to those moments. Sometimes I knew why, other times not, but I said out loud, I HATE THIS. Clearly for me, these days have passed. I'm big on good out weighing the bad, and in my case with this practice the good that comes from it far out weighs slogging through the mud of not wanting to write. The mess of the slog is good. It's important. IT'S IMPORTANT TO ALLOW OURSELVES TO NOT BE GRATEFUL. As a psychotherapist I have A LOT to say about gratitude. I'll share it separately another time, because, there's a lot. A LOT. But right now, just know that allowing your frustration, anger, and just hating everything to be acknowledged is really, really important. You won't have bad luck if you do. You won't not manifest your dreams, you won't not attract, and your crystals won't get up and run away. Promise.
So, give this writing three things you learn each day a try. If you are a writer by trade, or want to be, commit to it. You will get better. By doing this every single day, you will get great. You will also feel better. It's science. More to come on that later.
What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.